Khin Zaw Win was arrested on 4 July 1994 at Yangon airport, where he was about to depart for Singapore. He was convicted under the Emergency Provisions Act, the Unlawful Associations Act, and the Official Secrets Act. He was also accused of smuggling and currency offences, but it is thought that this was used as a pretext for his arrest; it is said that the authorities often use criminal charges to detain political critics.
A dentist, interpreter, student and former speech and report writer for UNICEF, Khin Zaw Win was due to start a Masters degree in Public Policy in Singapore at the time of his arrest. He had returned to his country of origin for research purposes.
Khin Zaw Win was accused of meeting with a group of dissidents, among whom were said to be the author Daw San San Nwe, opposition figure U Khin Maung Swe, and the journalist U Sein Hla Oo. They were accused of contacting foreign diplomats and journalists and sending to them “news comments against or critical of the government,” and of preparing to send “fabricated news” to UN Special Rapporteur Professor Yozo Yokota. Khin Zaw Win was also accused of supplying opposition groups on the borders of Myanmar with news and commentary.
While held at the Insein Prison in Rangoon, Khin Zaw Win was said to be among a group of prisoners who suffered ill-treatment in 1995 when a letter of protest addressed to the UN was discovered. The punishment allegedly included being held in cells meant for dogs. He is also said to have been refused visits from his family since May 2002 and has reportedly been suffering from health problems, worsened by the conditions of his incarceration. He is now under detention in Myitkyina Prison, Kachin State.
Myanmar is governed by the military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The main opposition is the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
General Than Shwe
State Peace and Development Council
Ministry of Defence
Dagon Post Office, Yangon
Fax: 00 95 1 652 624
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/prisoners/khinzawwin/